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tv   U.S. House of Representatives  CSPAN  December 9, 2010 10:00am-1:00pm EST

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the resolution for fannie and freddie will be tops on the agenda for congress when it come back. i want to thank janet tavakoli for outlining some of the scope of the problems they face when they get to this issue after january 1. thank you again for your time. i would recommend you find her on the website or she has her own web site. now it is time to take you to the house of representatives. among the issues she is expected to -- they are expected to take up -- cloaked in our humanity now and in the days to come. amen. the speaker: the chair has examined the journal of the last day's proceedings and announces to the chamber her approval thereof. pursuant to clause 1 of rule 1 the journal stands approved. the pledge of allegiance will be led by the gentleman from florida, congressman buchanan. mr. buchanan: i pledge allegiance to the flag of the united states of america and to the republic for which it stands, one nation under god,
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indivisible, with liberty and justice for all. the speaker: the chair will receive a message. the messenger: madam speaker, a message from the senate. the secretary: madam speaker. the speaker: madam secretary. the secretary: i have been directed by the senate to inform the house that the senate has passed s. 3167 cited as the census oversight efficiency and management reform act of 2010 in which the concurrence of the house is requested. the speaker: thank you. the chair will entertain up to five requests for one-minute speeches on each side of the aisle. for what purpose does the gentleman from illinois rise? >> to address the house for one minute. the speaker: without objection. >> thank you, madam speaker. in the wake of the worst fire in israel's history, i want to commend the usaida and the u.s. forest service for helping extinguish the flames. mr. quigley: now that the fires are out, the work will begin.
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the state of israel's national foresters will help rebuild the destroyed forest. their first order of business will be assessing the damage and creating a plan for the long-term renewal of the historically significant carmel forest. it is rich in biblical history, most famous of elijah's battle with the prophet. they will ensure this precious area is restored and maintained for generations. the partnership of the u.s. forest service and the jewish national front shows the strong ties between u.s. and israel. thank you and i yield bark. the speaker pro tempore: for what purpose does the gentleman from south carolina rise? willy brandt mr. speaker, i ask
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-- mr. wilson: mr. speaker, i ask unanimous consent to address the house for one minute. the speaker pro tempore: without objection, the gentleman is recognized for one minute. mr. wilson: amazon.com announced plans to open a distribution in casey. this will bring 1,200 jobs to the midlands. and i thank amazon.com for their commitment to our state. they put together a positive incentives package promoted by economic development manager chuck wiffle. the south carolina department of commerce has proven the success of creating long-term private sector jobs. under secretary taylor's leadership, the department of commerce has recruited 82,695 jobs and $16.7 billion in capital investment. as a result of local leaders like secretary taylor, the future is looking bright for south carolina. his proven successor is b.m.w. successor named by the governor-elect.
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in conclusion, god bless our troops and we will never forget september 11 and the global war on terrorism. welcome back to washington bob livingston. america's only electedagent general. the speaker pro tempore: for what purpose does the gentlewoman from california rise? >> to address the house for one minute and to revise and extend my remarks. the speaker pro tempore: without objection, the gentlewoman is recognized for one minute. ms. sanchez: thank you, mr. speaker. i rise today to recognize human rights today. today, people around the world recognize the human rights violations that continue to occur in so many countries like vietnam and china. it's also a day when we honor the men and women who sacrifice their freedoms in order to fight for human rights. at this moment there are three individuals imprisoned in vietnam for exercising their rights of free speech and expression. train tie, lee min and pham
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min are three women, democracy activists, who have been denied their basic human rights by their own government in vietnam. the people of america enjoy the freedom of speech and worship freely. but it's important to knows -- know those who don't have the same freedoms as we do. so today let's remember all those freedom fighters and let's work together in the coming year to ensure that people like these three women are allowed to express themselves. thank you, mr. speaker. and i yield back. the speaker pro tempore: for what purpose does the gentleman from florida rise? >> i ask permission to address the house for one minute. the speaker pro tempore: without objection, the gentleman is recognized for one minute. mr. buchanan: mr. speaker, our national debt is quickly approaching $14 trillion. yesterday, congress approved another trillion dollars, funding government next year without making the necessary
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cuts. this spending bill does nothing to reverse the out-of-control spending of the last two years. instead, it continues this incredible growth of borrowing and spending that puts our country on the track to bankruptcy. in the past 50 years, we've only balanced the budget five times. this has to change. during my first week i introduced the constitutional balanced budget amendment that says simply, we don't spend more than we take in. we need to pass the constitutional budget amendment, and we need to pass it today. i yield back. the speaker pro tempore: for what purpose does the gentleman from new york rise? >> to address the house for one minute and to revise and extend. the speaker pro tempore: without objection, the gentleman is recognized for one minute. mr. tonko: thank you, mr. speaker. my colleagues on the other side of the aisle have said over and over again that cutting taxes for millionaires and billionaires will create jobs. it simply has not.
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albert einstein once described insanity as doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results. that is why i rise today to ask, where are the jobs? where are they? it's time we restore sanity to the discussion on tax cuts. tax cuts for millionaires and billionaires do not create jobs. they are also not supported by the general public. in fact, according to a cbs poll from last week, only 20% support millionaire tax breaks and only 46% support tax breaks. so i ask who are my republican friends listening to? is it wall street c.e.o.'s and an army of special interest lobbyists? as any farmer will tell you, you fertilize a plant from bottom up, not top down, because if its roots are strong the plants will be strong. our country's roots are the middle class, and it's time we give them nutrients to thrive. thank you, mr. speaker.
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i yield back. the speaker pro tempore: for what purpose does the gentleman from nebraska rise? >> to address the house for one minute and to revise and extend. the speaker pro tempore: without objection, the gentleman is recognized for one minute. >> thank you, mr. speaker. american families are preparing for the holiday season and by doing so by paying the highest fuel prices in two years. in addition to gat lien, heating oil and diesel prices are expected to increase year over year for the first time since 2008. and analysts are predicting that oil will hit $100 a barrel very soon. at a time when our economy is trying to recover, such prices could be catastrophic. mr. smith: that's why it's not good for we need to can sell plans for deepwater sources. they are said to contain 86 billion of recoverable barrel. this hurts our economy and costs american jobs. let's give americans what they deserve.
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the time is now to explore american energy resources. i yield back. the speaker pro tempore: for what purpose does the gentleman from washington rise? >> request unanimous consent to address the house for one minute and to revise and extend my remarks. the speaker pro tempore: without objection, the gentleman is recognized for one minute. >> my colleagues, it's time to call on the state of israel to stop shooting children. since march of this year, 17 children have been shot near the border of gaza, shot for the crime of picking up small pieces of rock to use for aggregate because the israeli blockade is preventing construction materials from coming into gaza. mr. baird: 70% of these children were shot while doing this activity beyond the 700 meter unilateral security zone. young children, adults are picking up small pieces of gravel because they cannot import concrete to rebuild schools, hospitals, clinics,
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water treatment facilities without it. let us call upon our allies in the state of israel to stop shooting children, to prosecute those who have shot children and to lift the blockade to allow raw materials in an economic prosperity to succeed. on this human rights day it's the least we can do. i yield back. the speaker pro tempore: for what purpose does the gentleman from pennsylvania rise? mr. thompson: mr. speaker, request unanimous consent to address the house for one minute and to revise and extend. the speaker pro tempore: without objection, the gentleman is recognized for one minute. mr. thompson: mr. speaker, a recent headline in "the atlanta journal constitution" talked about the scarcity of heating fuel which sent prices through the roof. by contrast, "the philadelphia inquirer" reported a drop in utility bills due to a plant. heating fuel in atlanta is due in great part to the production of oil reserves in the gulf of
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mexico. unfortunately last week, vast amounts of oil and gas reserves off the atlantic and pacific coasts were placed off-limits by the white house limiting production as a result of supply. the secretary of interior salazar removed all of our vast offshore oil and gas reserves from the production process. the result, not one barrel of oil or cubic feet of natural gas owned by our citizens will be produced until at least 2022. in pennsylvania, recent development in the natural gas has brought the opposite effect. a lower rate from the philadelphia gas works will save the average customer almost $15 per month. the solution is obvious and congress should reclaim its jurisdiction over our energy future. the speaker pro tempore: for what purpose does the gentleman from california rise? >> unanimous consent to address the house for one minute and to revise and extend my remarks. the speaker pro tempore: without objection, the gentleman is recognized for one minute. >> mr. speaker, for the past through he congresses i have been an enthuse assic sponsor
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of the dream act. no child raised in america should be permanently penalized to the immigration status of their parents. the dream act gives young people to contribute to the united states. often the nearly country they know. i've heard from high school students in my district who've done everything right but when applying to college they are not an american citizen. mr. schiff: u.s. has a proud tradition of welcoming immigrants who want to work hard and play by the rules and build a better life for themselves and their families. the dream act comes from that tradition. it will make our economy, military and nation stronger. yesterday evening i was proud to cast an aye vote on the creem act. i missed the final vote on the act. had i been present i would have enthusiastically voted aye. and i urge my senate colleagues to pick up the legislation in the remaining days of the 111th congress. i yield back. the speaker pro tempore: pursuant to clause 8 of rule 20, the chair will postpone
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further proceedings today on the motion to suspend the rules on which a recorded vote or the yeas and nays are ordered or on which the vote incurs objection under clause 6 of rule 20. any recorded vote on the postponed question will be taken later. for what purpose does the gentleman from california seek recognition? >> mr. speaker, i move to suspend the rules and concur in the senate amendments to h.r. 4994, the medicare and medicaid extenders act of 2010. the speaker pro tempore: the clerk will report the title of the bill. the clerk: h.r. 4994, an act to amend the internal revenue code of 1986 to reduce taxpayer burdens and enhance taxpayer protections, and for other purposes. the speaker pro tempore: pursuant to the rule, the gentleman from california, mr. stark, and the gentleman from california, mr. herger, will
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each control 20 minutes. the chair now recognizes the gentleman from california, mr. stark. mr. stark: mr. speaker, i rise in support of h.r. 4994, the medicare and medicaid extenders act, a bill that was passed by unanimous consent in the senate yesterday because of the critical importance to our senior citizens and military families. the legislation does the bare minimum of what is needed to ensure that medicare runs smoothly for the next year. because the military's tricare system operates by many of medicare's rules, it also protects the health care of our military families. importantly, the bill prevents a nearly 25% pay cut to medicare and tricare physicians that would otherwise go into effect on january 1, 2011. giving physicians a year of certainty in their pay is important to protect medicare beneficiaries' access to their physicians. the bill extends a host of
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other key policies to protect the health of seniors and people with disabilities. . in the lodge run we all know we need to do much better by medicare than continued one-year patches on the physician payment formula. the house passed a permanent solution in november of 2009, but the senate was unable to move it. we need to work together across party lines to reach a permanent solution. in the meantime, 4994, is the appropriate short-term measure. i urge my colleagues to join us in protecting the medicare beneficiaries by voting yes. i reserve the balance of my time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman reserves the balance of his time. the gentleman from california, mr. herger. mr. herger: mr. speaker, i yield myself such time as i may consume. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman is recognized. mr. herger: when the democrats passed their massive health care overhaul, they didn't spend one sent to resolve a long-standing problem and ensure seniors have
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continued access to their physicians. as a result, for the fourth time since obamacare passed, we are forced to take emergency action to prevent physicians from having their medicare payments slashed. this time the looming cut is 25% . the brinksmanship where this democrat congress has walked physicians up to the cliff only to back away at the last minute is unacceptable. by friends on the other side of the aisle are quick to remind us that they offered to address medicare physician payments last fall. this is true. they put a bill on the floor which had already failed to pass the senate. this bill would have expanded our already record deficit by an astounding $210 billion, a cripple be -- crippling debt load on top of the $1 trillion
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health bill. rather than responsibly manage the medicare program, they chose instead to cut medicare by one half trillion dollars to fund their government takeover of health care. the good news is is that today we are finally starting to address this problem in a bipartisan way. we are stopping these cuts not for one month or two months, but for a full year. we are ensuring that physicians will take -- will be able to keep their doors open and that seniors will have continued access to their doctors. and we are doing this in a fiscally responsible manner without adding a dime to the deficit. we are doing it by taking aim at the irresponsible overspending that was created by the new health care law. let it be known on this day in
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the people's house the dismantling of obamacare begins. once the house passes this bill and the president signs it into law, we will have landed the first blow to the democrats' massive health care overhaul. today we begin by removing $19 billion from their risky $1 trillion experiment. a risky experiment that c.b.o. predicts will force health insurance premiums for millions of families to increase by $2,100 in 2016 alone. a risky experiment that the obama administration predicts could force 117 million americans out of their health plans. a risky experiment that medicare officials have repeatedly warned
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could jeopardize seniors' access to care. a risky experiment that medicare officials predict will force millions of seniors out of their current medicare and retiree health coverage. a risky experiment that increases taxes by more than one half trillion dollars at a time when unemployment is nearly 10%. a risky experiment that would spend an additional $1 trillion on health care when every respected economist tells us that in order to improve our country's fiscal health, we must get control of health care spending. my friends on the other side of the aisle repeatedly said, a doctor's fix couldn't be paid for. that it shouldn't be paid for. yet with bipartisan work we have before us a fully offset bill
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that gives physicians one year of certainty while congress worked to reform physician payments in a fiscally responsible manner once and for all. so here we are today, mr. speaker, pulling at the thread that will begin to unravel obamacare. rest assured, america, we are taking $19 billion today but we'll continue to fight to get the rest next year. thank you, mr. speaker. i reserve the balance of my time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman reserves the balance of his time. the gentleman from california, mr. stark. mr. stark: mr. speaker, i ask unanimous consent that all members may have five legislative days to revise and extend their remarks on this matter. the speaker pro tempore: without objection, so ordered. mr. stark: i'd like to remind my distinguished friend that health reform was 100% paid for and the
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party that wants to spend $700 billion on the richest americans for their tax cuts certainly shouldn't lecture anyone on the deficit. mr. speaker, i yield the balance of my time to the gentleman from new jersey, mr. pallone. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from new jersey is recognized. mr. pallone: thank you, mr. speaker. first of all let me say as i did the other day, as you know i guess about a week ago we passed an extension to eliminate the cut in the s.g.r. for -- the doctors fix, until the end of this month. this bill before us today would take us until the end of the year, december, 2011. at the time the gentleman from california, mr. herger, also got on the floor and made statements which i think totally do not
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represent what we were doing. first of all, i would say with regard to the doctors fix, nobody wants the 25% cut in doctors reimbursement rate. that's why we were here last week for the extension to eliminate that cut until the end of this year, and that's why we are here today to eliminate that cut until the end of 2011. the fact of the matter is it's the republican party and it's the gentleman from california, mr. herger's party, in the house that refused to vote for a permanent fix when we passed it in the democrat majority over a year ago. as i said that day, only one person, dr. burgess, who is a physician on our committee, voted with the democrats for the permanent fix. and as a result of the inability and unwillingness of the republicans to do anything about this doctors cut or reimburse the cut, that we had to pass, i guess, five different short-term fixes. now, granted today we are going to have a year extension and i'm certainly happy the republicans have agreed to a year extension.
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but they still have not come along to a permanent fix and they have not helped us in our efforts to achieve a permanent fix. so for the gentleman to suggest that somehow the republicans have been helpful and they wanted to deal with this problem, in my opinion, is simply not accurate. let me spell another thing. there is nothing in this bill that would any way disrupt or repeal the health care reform, the land mark legislation that the democrats passed again this year without any support from the other side of the aisle. if any of us were -- if there was any remote suggestion that we were repealing the -- or this was the beginning of the repeal, as the gentleman suggested, of the health care reform, not one democrat would support that. and i certainly would not. the fact of the matter is the health care lee form was fully paid for -- the health care reform was fully paid for. the fact of the matter is it did not in any way effect medicare beneficiaries. we actually improved benefits
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for medicare beneficiaries in the health care reform. we basically filled up an eliminated the doughnut hole. we provided more money for co-pays so that seniors who are poor, or lower income, would not have to do co-pays for preventive care. the list of additional benefits for medicare beneficiaries under the larger health care reform goes on and on. i could list more. so the suggestion that somehow we were cutting medicare benefits is simply not true. the fact of the matter is that benefits were increased, the bill was paid for, and this bill today in no way, in no way takes away from that large health care reform. we have paid for the health care reform, we have paid for the doctors fix for an additional year in this legislation by making sure that people who were going to get a subsidy and who didn't qualify would have to pay it back. that's the only change. that's the way it's paid for here today. so i just want to say, mr. chairman, this is a very
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important bill. it's a vital piece of legislation for america's seniors, persons with disabilities, and military families. without this legislation, physician fees in medicare and try care would be reduced by 25% on january 1, three weeks from now, and that kind of cut would threaten the ability of enrollees in medicare and try care to receive their -- tricare to see their doctors and we can't allow that to happen. as i mentioned before we passed some short-term fixes. this is another short-term fix that thankfully it is at least for another year. until we can work out a permanent solution. the democrats already passed that permanent solution without republican help. but unfortunately therefore it did not become law and will have to address it again. the bill also prohelp in 2011 to lower care medicare beneficiaries and paying premiums which are nearly $100 a month. it extends medicare policies including extensions process for therapy cap that allows medicare
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beneficiaries to access medically needed therapy treatment. it extends an important program that helps medicaid beneficiaries work more hours without losing their medicaid benefits. it's completely paid for over 10 years. it moved through the senate by unanimous consent. it's really not controversial at all. and so i urge members of the house to vote yes on this bill that provides stability to the medicare program. i reserve the balance of my time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman reserves the balance of his time. the gentleman from california, mr. herger. mr. herger: mr. speaker, i yield the balance of my time to the ranking member of the energy and commerce committee, the gentleman from texas, mr. barton. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from texas is recognized for as much time as he may consume. mr. barton: i thank the gentleman from california for his courtesy. i would ask the chair how much time i have remaining? the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman has 15 minutes remaining. mr. barton: may i ask how much time my friends on the majority have? the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from california, mr.
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stark, has 13 minutes remaining. the speaker pro tempore: thank you, mr. speaker. -- mr. barton: thank you, mr. speaker. i yield myself such time as i may consume. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman is recognized. mr. barton: the republicans do rise in support of this one-year fix for the reimbursement rate for physicians. having said that, i think i was able to listen to some of what my distinguished subcommittee chairman of the energy and commerce committee, mr. pallone, was saying as i was waiting for the tram to come over here, it is time, mr. speaker, for members on both sides of the aisle to put aside partisan politics and in an upcoming year or years, if it takes more than one year, sit down and let's really come up with a new formula to fix permanently how we pay our physicians.
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the current formula is based on an index that is based on inflation. and under the scorekeeping any year in which medical expenses go up more rapidly than the general inflation rate, i'm simply filing the index, but this is the basic part of it, you have to find savings in that particular year or there is a negative balance created in the physician reimbursement fund. the current system is not sustainable. it doesn't work. it doesn't reflect the practice of medicine. but because of our scorekeeping, we are -- we keep getting further and further behind and so each year the one-year cut gets bigger and bigger. this year it would be 25%. now, obviously when most of our physician community claims, and i think with justification, that
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they are not being adequately reimbursed for treating medicare patients, you have a situation as you have in my district and i'm sure each of us can say in our own district -- in their districts, physicians are not taking medicare patients. in my home county of ellis county, the county seat, community of about 30,000, the mayor is a personal friend of mine and i have known him for over 20 years, his existing doctor retired and he went, he's on medicare, he's over 65, we went to find a new doctor who would treat him and he couldn't find a doctor. here's the mayor of watcha hatchee, who couldn't find a doctor to accept a medicare
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patient. that doesn't make sense. you could find the best system in the world and if you don't have the doctors to implement it you don't have a health care system. so, it is my strong recommendation that the republicans, the current minority, soon-to-be majority, vote for this one-year fix. knowing it's not a fix it's another kick the can, kick the problem down the road, but in this case at least it is for a year. . and in the upcoming congress and in the majority switch i am going to be a member of the committee of primary jurisdiction, the energy and commerce committee, and it will be my strong recommendation to our new chairman, fred upton of michigan, and our new speaker, mr. boehner of ohio, and our new majority leader, mr. cantor of virginia, that we sit down with our stakeholders, with our friends on the soon-to-be minority side of the aisle and
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let's come up with a system that adequately reflects the will of both parties and also gets buy-in from the stakeholders and reflects the cost of practicing medicine as it is today. i know it's going to be expensive. i know it's going to be difficult. but it will be possible, and i hope we can do that. so with that i would reserve the balance of my time, would ask for a yes vote when it comes time to vote under the suspension calendar. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman reserves the balance of his time. who seeks recognition? without objection, the gentleman from new jersey will control the time. the gentleman is recognized. mr. pallone: thank you, mr. speaker. i yield two minutes to the gentleman from california, mr. farr. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from california, mr. farr, is recognized for two minutes. mr. farr: thank you very much, mr. speaker.
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and thank you very much for yielding. i ask for permission to revise and extend. the speaker pro tempore: without objection. mr. farr: mr. chairman, i rise in support of this bill, but with real dismay. first, it is ludicrous that congress continues to patch s.g.r. instead of fixing it once and for all. this bill, though necessary, doesn't fix what's broken. we will just find ourselves back next year trying to find a way forward. the time to repeal and replace the doctor payment formula and come up with something new. second, this bill contains special pork favors for certain midwest senators that will pay their doctors more than the doctors in other parts of the country. in particular, my state of california. section 103 of this bill provides an arbitrary floor for certain doctor patients in iowa and other midwest states that boost their medicare reimbursements. but this provision does not extend to all doctors in the united states. iowa will get $17 million
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additional in f.y. 2011 on top of the regular medicare reimbursement that other states will not get. over the two-year cycle, f.y. 2011, iowa doctors will be reimbursed over $34 million because of their special floor in the payments inserted by senator grassley and others in that body. in a bill that is supposed to be clean and simple -- and simply advance the moratorium on reductions in sustainable growth rate, section 103 is an abomination. it is plain unfair to other doctors in other states. my doctors in california, especially in my district, have suffered more than a decade under the misaligned doctor payment formula to outdate geographical -- due to outdated geographical locality designations. despite numerous reports by g.a.o. and c.m.s., despite numerous times the house passed legislation to pass this, the senate has refused to accept
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the fix. they need to do right by all doctors. this bill does not do that. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman's time has expired. without objection, the gentleman from texas will control the time. mr. barton: i would yield three minutes to a distinguished member of the energy and commerce committee and the health subcommittee, current ranking member of the oversight and investigation subcommittee, dr. michael burgess of flower mound, texas. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from texas, dr. burgess, is recognized for three minutes. burgburg i thank the gentleman, my ranking minority member -- mr. burgess: i thank the gentleman, my ranking member, for yielding. this truly is an emergency for our nation's patients and our nation's physicianings. i support the passage of this bill. it does give us, also, some time in this body and the other
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body, it gives us some time to work on a permanent solution. there's plenty of blame to go around on both sides of the aisle and both sides of the capitol as to why we are in this fix. the fact is it began back in 1998 with an omnibus reconciliation act. it was extended under the republican watch for 10 years and now we have four years under the democrats where it has not been fixed. in fact, most of the doctors you talk to have come through the worse year ever in trying to manage their practices. stop and think about it for a minute. you have a small medical practice, two, three, four, five doctors. they don't do all medicare work. maybe it's only 5% or 10% of their actual book of business. but in april and in june we asked the administrator at the center for medicare and medicaid services to hold the check for a few weeks until congress could get back off a recess and take up yet another fix for this problem. the practical effect of doing
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that was we cut 10%, 15% off of the operating budget for every small practice that did medicare, saw medicare patients that we asked them to see, that saw our medicare patients in this country. the consequence of that, most physician offices run very close to the margin every month. they had to impout and borrow money to meet cash flow in april and in june. and i dare say most of those practices have not yet fully recovered from that insult to the cash flow that occurred. so it is extremely important to pass a one-year -- a one-year extension that gives them the stability to plan, gives patients the ability to be able to find doctors under the medicare system and gives physician offices the ability to plan for the future. now, during this year that comes up, we are obligated, both sides of the aisle, both houses in this capitol are obligated to fix this problem. shame on us if it continues after this fix has expired. there is the political will to do it. we heard it this morning from both sides. i will commit myself to working
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with, yes, my side, the other side of the aisle, the other house in this capitol to work on a permanent solution to this. they are out there. it depends on how we want it to look. it depends on where we're going to get the pay-fors. one the most egregious things in this health care bill that the president signed last march was even though you took $500 billion out of the medicare system you used that to offfund a new entitlement for the middle class in subsidies and the exchange. not one dime, not one dime was sequestered to pay down the problem that we have with the sustainable growth rate formula. and here's the real bad news. the independent payment advisory board is coming up in 2015. also part of the health care bill that was signed into law last march. doctors now perhaps face double jeopardy from the cuts in the sustainable growth rate formula and the cuts in the payment advisory board. this stretches out for 12 months. we have time to do it let's
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dedicate ourselves for getting this done for our nation's seniors. thank you. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman's time has expired. the gentleman from new jersey. mr. pallone: i'd continue to reserve. i don't know if there are speakers on the other side. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman reserves the balance of his time. the gentleman from texas. mr. barton: mr. speaker, we don't have any other speakers. we're prepared to close if the majority's prepared to close. mr. pallone: that's fine. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from texas is recognized. mr. barton: mr. speaker, i think all that's been said that needs to be said has been said. so let me simply say that this is a problem that needs to be dealt with. i compliment those who negotiated the one-year sficks. hopefully in the next -- fix. hopefully in the congress we can replace the existing formula for one that doesn't have to be updated and fixed every session of congress. but for today i'd urge all those in the current minority to vote for the bill on
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suspension and would yield back the balance of our time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from texas yields back the balance of his time. the gentleman from new jersey. mr. pallone: thank you, mr. speaker. let me associate myself completely with the remarks that the gentleman from texas just made. i do think that it's significant that we're able to negotiate a one-year extension to avoid these cuts to the doctors on a bipartisan basis. and i do believe we need to work together on a bipartisan basis to achieve a permanent fix in the next congress. and so with that i'd yield back the balance of my time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from new jersey yields back his time. all time having expired, the question is will the house suspend the rules and concur in the senate amendment to h.r. 4994. those are amendments. those in favor say aye. those opposed, no. in the opinion of the chair,
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2/3 having responded in the affirmative, the -- for what purpose does the gentleman from california, mr. herger, rise? mr. herger: mr. speaker, with that i request the yeas and nays. the speaker pro tempore: the yeas and nays are requested. all those in favor of taking this vote by the yeas and nays will rise and remain standing until counted. a sufficient number having arisen, the yeas and nays are ordered. pursuant to clause 8 of rule 20, further proceedings on this question will be postponed. the chair lays before the house the following enrolled bill. the clerk: senate 3789, an act to limit access to social security account numbers. the speaker pro tempore: pursuant to clause 12-a of rule 1, the house will stand in recess subject to the call of the chair.>> "washington journa"
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continues. host: john campbell is a republican of cifornia and member of the budget committee
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of the house of representatives talk about this transition period and what the new congress will look ke. thank you for being here. of course, the big story is what the fate will being of the president and the gop tax-cut bill. what are you planning to do? guest: i am going to oppose a, quite strongly against it. it seems out there that much of the opposition is from democrats. three reasons i am against it. first of all, i did not believe it is going to provide much and economic boost. everybody talks about spending these days, how we need people to go out and spend. if you want long-term economic growth we need investment, savings, and, frankly, we need reduction in debt from all the bubble's we had earlier. a lot of this spending is not going to create long-term
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economic growth. it will provide a temporary jolt to the economy but not the long term. hist sort of a sugar high of the for stimulus and we will come off the sugar high of the stimulus a year from now. what it is going to do is tremendously increase the deficit. i am in favor of extending all of the tax cuts and not raising taxes on anybody and doing it permanently. we could talk later -- i do not believe that actually has a cost. but that is a separate issue. but there are many things that definitely have a direct cost to the treasury. e deficit commission just reported and talked about the significant challenge we have in this country withur long-term deficits. this is going to make the situation substantially and considerably worse. so, i thinwe are - that this
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deal, unfortunately, is not going to do much to help and long-term economic growth. it is going to significantly worsen our long-term economic deficit, our long-term economic debt problem, and it is going to lead to some much greater economic problems down the road. h., i think i need more acts -- like host: i think i need to give more explanation. it talked about the deficit commission. leaders of the presidential panel, erskine bowles and alan simpson, saying the compromise ignores the cancer of national debt and they are frustrated it was announced just days after their plan was put forward. guest: i completely agree. host: you said you do not think the tax cut -- extension of the tax cuts would have impact on the deficit. guest: if you look in the past, the way the congressional budget office -- they are very good people but they are do what they
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are told. e way they are supposed to score, there term, how much a tax decrease caused the government is at is called a static modeling. they assume that people don't change their behavior when tax rates go up and down but i am a cpa, a master's in taxation and i used to prepare tax returns and you do, when the tax rate moves around, the first thing you do is sit down mu your client and say let us figure out how we can avoid this, how we can compensate for this, whenever. when tax rates go up, people make adjustments, when they g down, they make adjustments. of the look of the last major decreases, 2001 or 2003 or go back to 1994 -- the 1995 decreases, those actually resulted in increases in revenue. revenue to the federal government went up because people took economic activity to a higher level and brought more revenue into the government. when we had tax increases in the
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past, many time revenue actually goes down because people change their behavior and their economic activity. because when we extend the t rates, we are not lowering taxes, we are keeping them where we are now, i and not saying that i believe that keeping the tax rates wherehey are is going to provide any huge economic benefit at this point. but what it will do is avoid having a negative. the other thing i should mention about this tax bill that i forgot early on is that one of the biggest problems in the marketplace right now, with businesses, investors, with people, is uncertainty. there is a lot of uncertainty in the general market and you can't change that but there is government uncertainty, what is called the washington a risk premium. people don't know what your taxes are going to be next month, what the death taxes will be, regulations, health care.
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one thing we should be doing in washington is reduce the uncertainty. everything in this tax agreement expires in two years or less, absolutely everything. so, it isot reducing the uncertainty out there. if we want to reduce uncertainty we need to make some things permanent. that is another reason i believe this is not -- this deal is not solving the problem that exists out there. host: our viewers will have lots of questio and i want to invite the participation and we will put the phone numbers on the screen -- there has been an announcement about what the committee chairman ships will be like. "the new york times" today paul ryan, daryl issa, ways and
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means, dav camp, education and labor, john klein, foreign affairs, judiciary, lar smith, peter king, homeland security. one specific one, the naming of hal rise for procreation. picking up on a peace we had in "the wall street journal" today. you are a fiscal hawks, what do you think? guest: he is saying -- and hopefully he will come through
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-- that the appropriate -- appropriation committee culture needs to chang i have been one of the more vocal about their marks in the house. -- earmarks in the house. i think they have been the gateway drug to overspending. i am pleased republicans and house and senate agreed to a ban on all earmark for the entire congress -- for this year and next year as well. hal rogers has been a part of that band, and i think it is great. the culture of the appropriations committee is going to have to change. in my view. it has been a committee of spending where obviously -- it appropriates money, that is obviously its job. but it has sort of been where, all right, democrats want to spend something, republicans want to spend something, so let us make agreements.
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that is how we got into the deficit problems we are in it and it kind of happens with the tax cuts -- you want these benefits, let's do all of it. that is how we are getting into this deficit problem instead of shrinking things. the appropriations committee, i believe -- and i hope in the future -- needs to be one that, instead of conducting a lot of oversight -- ion't tnk we ed to go through and necessarily cut everying by 10% or something like that, but let's talk to every government agency and make them justify their budget, make them justified, do they have accountability in place, are we getting the bang for the buck in each and eve department, and does not, there are probably whole departments that probably do not need to be there and others that may be should not be cut at all i hope that is the sort of thing the appropriations committee will be doing in theuture. host: one more story about a
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culture on capitol hill. thes morning's fed page in " washington post." here is what he writes -- these cases illustrate the endurance of washington's traditional power structures -- guest: this may not be the most popular thing to say -- i don't share the disdain for lobbyists that seems to often be in the public venue. the constitution provides that people have the opportunity to petition their government. the country is much bigger now than it was then. i am from california. to petition your government from california is n an easy thing
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to do. so, people have banded together and hired representatives to represent them on their interests. i don't know why that is such a terrible thing to do, and i don't know why the people, those citizens to band together to represent them, why those people are necessarily tarot -- terrible people. i know the president when he campaigned in 2008 was not very kind in his words, and so forth, about lobbyists and his role but yet he h them in his it ministration, too. when someone is coming and -- if you are a freshman you want someone with experience because you may have a lot of ideas, you may have a lot of vigor for things, but what you don't have is knowledge and experiencon how this town and how this place works. so, those freshmen are looking for somebody with knowledge and
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experience. with 87 new republican freshmen you cannot just take from a current staff, not enough. yet to get some from somewhere else but i do not see it as such an awful thing. host: we set the table and brought his way -- your thoughts on the tax cuts and your concerns about the deficit and the dead and talk about the organization of a new congress. let us get our viewers. we will begin from a republican caller named charlie from citrus county, florida. tudown that tv volume and go ahead. caller: good morning. this question is to mr. campbell. i just wanted tell you. i am an immigrant, 60 -- 62 years in this country. i am republican but the politicians should be working together, whether republican, independent, and democrat.
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using more common sense -- education is wonderful. president truman had no college education but he ran this country to the best of his ability. i think a lot of the people, they go on well for, they should be taken off -- not to pay them but let the government create jobs. let them go to work. if your family needs $500 a week or $500 a war, let them work for 200 or 300 and give them the balance. what happens, they stay home, create problems, they get drunk. host: i will jump in. you have given us a couple of issues. concern about people working together and talking about government creating jobs. gut: first of all, on working together, starting january 5 you have a republican-controlled house, democratic controlled senate with a lot of republicans in it, and then you have obviously a democratic president
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for two years. we've got to work together. the simple math of the way government works. so, we've got to work tether. i don't like this tax deal. it does not mean i did not think we should not have a tax bill. we should agree on something. i just believe that in order to get what we republicans believe we ought to have -- and we believe that just not raising taxes, ming these to permit tax rates, leaving them alone andin order to get that, in my view, we gave up too much. we are going to significantly worsen the deficit. if this tax bill was not to go through, we still have to sit down at the table and figure something out. we should not let taxes go off on people. government does not create jobs,
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the private sector creates jobs. government does not cree productivity. the private sector creates things. this is o place where i disagree with much of the policies of the president. it seems many of the job creation programs is the government create temporary jobs. what i believe we should be doing is creating an environment -- what government should be doing -- is creating an atmosphere under which the private sector feels more comfortable creating jobs. those jobs are longer lasting. in the end, we need to get money to pay for these jobs, so you cannot get the two out of balance. host: detroit is next. caller: i could not agree with you more about the government not creating jobs. however, i do disagree highly about taxation, in terms of
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republicans. they use language very well, they say we do not want to see taxes raised for anyone, which is true, but the problems, the wealthy have a different tax rate. of course, it would not be a benefit to them. i would challenge you, go back ally whatus historic ple taxes in the past did for us. it worked extremely well in the 1950's. could you comment on that? guest: i did not bring the exact statistics with me, so i will have to quote it from memory.
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high income individuals, they are paying a greater share of taxes today than they have at any time. they are now paying the highest share of taxes. that is without raising their taxes more relative to everyone else. so, i think, the argument that people of some accomplishment that have been successful enough to make $250,000 a year and up, that these people are not paying their fair share is wrong. if you believe that they should pay 75%, that is fine. you are welcome to that opinion. but, historically, they are
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paying more than they ever have. secondly, if he wants to create jobs, -- you want to create jobs -- because a lot of these are small businesses. income flows through on tax returns, individual tax returns. that means taxes areaid for by the individual. so a lot of this is small business passing through. i have been a small business owner. you can make money by reinvesting. if you want to hire more employees, you need more capital in the business. so when you take this money away from people, you are taking away the potential capital from which they can grow the business and hire people.
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if you want better paying jobs, you are not going to get it from people making that amount of money or less. you will get it from people making more than that that set up the business that hires those people. i understand the id tt people should pay more and more, but it will actually work against job creation. rather than having an emotional reaction, let us think about how we can better create jobs. host: based on your explanation of the share of taxes, you are mfortable than with this chart -- this is from "the washington post" this morning -- showing the largest parts of the push tax cuts recipients -- bush tax
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cuts. guest: let me tell you why i completely disagree withhe premise on which that kind of charge is made. that is how much money they are going to get from taxes. from the tax decrease -- extending a tax cut. it is not a decrease. to have that kind of analysis, you have to assume all money earned is the property of the government, and the government allows you to keep the percentage they desire. so this is basically saying, we the government are allowing the pele to keep more of their money because we are entitled to it all.
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that is not the way i look at it. the way i look at it is the product of people's intellect, sweat, risk-taking, the money a long as to them. the idea of leaving people with their own money is somehow a gift to them is absolutely wrong and completely backwards. that is where i disagree with that chart and agree with those charts that show a percentage of their income as a percentage of their total revenue to the govement. host: richard in massachusetts.
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independenct. caller: i listen to this congressman talk about getting together, but the problem is, they do not listen to the people. do you know how many times i have called my congressman, senator, do you know how many times i have called my governor? i get nothing. he is in committee. he is doing this. they give me the runaround and i get so aggravated. my vote does not even count. host: what is an example of one issue you called about? caller: i called about social security. i was a firefighter for 34 years. i am 66 years old. i get a pension. when i get my social security now -- this month is my first
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check -- they took 50% because they saii had a pension. i said to the woman, who gets the other share of the money? she said, somebody who needs it. that was a slap in my face. i go to work for $9 an hour now. they do not care about us. guest: let me respond to social security. it is interesting what has happened. when from the roosevelt set up social security, it was not a wealth transfer program, a program of subsidy or anything like that. individuals paid in an amount of money, and they got the amount they paid in back, no more, no
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less. it is increasingly becoming a subsidy program, where people who do not pay in do not necessarily get what they paid. and that is actually a distortion of the original intent of the program, back when it was put in place in the roosevelt administration. i agree with you, but one of the things is, social security is bankrupt. we are going to have to make some major reforms to it, or it will be gone. the good things about the deficit commissions, they have made it safe to talk about the
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third rail of politics. if we leaveocial security alone, it will fail. we have to make changes. that is the debate we are going to have. talking about listening to people -- two comments. if you look at the last two other actions, in 2006, 2008, republicans were swept out of office, out of the white house, out of congress. to me, that shows the vibrancy of our democracy. we republicans were not listening, so they threw us out. now they believe that democrats are not listening, so they want to throw them out. that is as it should be. as a member of congress,
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obviously, you get a lot of input. you often hear from people, i am a constituent and i want a, and you are not listening to me. but for every constituent, there are other opinions. there is no unanimous view of anything. we have to make a choice of what is best. for example, with this tax cut deal, i believe it is a bad deal for america and will result in an increase in the deficit and a lot of bad things. does that mean that people like it? you have to put a stake in the ground where you believe is best, what is best for your constituents. and if they do not like it, they will have the chance to replace
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me. host: dean from colorado writes in -- guest: ok, and this person's point is? host: that they are not overtaxed. guest: we need to separate these into two camps. corporate taxes that pay the corporate tax rate. we have the second hight corporate tax rate of any industrial country on earth. part of the reason we are losing jobs to other countries is not because of low wages all the time. in fact, i know a number of instances where companies have ved overseas, having nothing to do with low wages.
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we can compete, even with higher wages, against any other country on earth, for most jobs. but if the tax situation is substantially different, that is where we are losing jobs. we cannot have the second highest corporate tax rate in the industrialized world. i understand the feeling of some people, but it is the old saying, you cannot like employees and eight employers. if you want jobs, you have to create an environment in which employers can get a benefit from hiring people. -- like employees and hate employers. host: next phone call from n antonio. caller: congressman, you sound great, but nobody is saying that
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we need to cut the size of government. we can pay a janitor through the private system $30,000, and the same guy in the public system makes $60,000. this is something that we are not even talking about, paying for government employees. there is a saying, the rich get richer, the poor get poorer, but the rich do not set the tax rate. only government does. so is the government making the poorer. when you take more money out of that business guy, whatever product he sells, he is going to raise the cost. so who is paying for tho taxes
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at that guy is complaining about? no one seems to be explaining that. i would love to hear more about that. guest: i agree with everything you just said, so we will not have much of an argument there. we are talking about the size and cost of government. that is wt republicans campaigned on. that is why we have 87 new freshmen. now we need to deliver that. talk is one ban, but now we need to deliver. -- one thing, but now we need to deliver. what did the president say the
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other day, i am itching for a fight? i hope thate do not end up with a big fight. i hope we can agree that increasing the cost and size of government is not a good thing, that we have to start getting the deficit under control. i have to believe the deficit and debt is the single greatest threat to this country. great civilizations collapse from within. weekend collapse of ourselves from within if we do not tackle this. -- we can collapse ourselves from within, if we do not tackle this. host: we have that clip of the president itching for a fight. >> i would be happy to see the republicans test whether or not i am itching on a fight on a range of issues.
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iuspect they find that i am. and i think the american people will be on my side on a lot of these. but right now, i want to make sure that the american people are not hurt because we are having a political fight, and this agreement accomplishes that. and there are a bunch of things that they are giving up. from the republican perspective, the earned income tax credit, the college tuition tax credit, the child tax credit, all those things that are so important for some many families, those are things that they really opposed. so temporarily, they are willing to go ong with that, presumably, because they think they can beat me on that over the cour of theext two years. host: can you give people a sense of what you see in these planning meetings? what will the next six months
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look like in this town? guest: i think we are likely to lock horns with the president in e next six months, in fact, in the next three, four months. that will probably set the stage for the rest of this congress. when the president said that -- i never doubted that. the president has his own opinion, he is well rooted in them. i expect him to defend them. i am well rooted in mind. i intend to defend my own ideas. that is politics, that is democracy, that is government. he presents his position, we present hours, we battle it out in the court of opinion, and we see where it goes.
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i have often said, when we were in the minority -- actually, when we were in the majority -- democrats are just sniping at you. tot is the minority's job, criticize when they think you are wrong and then to offer an alternative. that is what we tried to do the last few years. i have had a feeling that we will be clashing on spending. i had first thought that it would come in the summer, but things are shaping up, perhaps in march. host: in "the washington times" --
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this is not the first time congress has tried, and the pressure over the weekend builds. guest: so far, by the way, reaction for this calendar has been praised. i think the mistake that the pelosi calendar made is there were five-day work weeks but not much time in the districts. in the end, -- when i am in washington, i see washington media, i listen to washington
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radio, but i do not represent washington, and i do not think my constituents want me to represent washington. i cannot represent them if i am never home. i think we need bigger breaks. when we are in washington, the there for longer periods of time, more time to get stuff done, but then have more full weeks where we are back in the districts to talk to our constituents, listen to our constituents, and remember that is where we live. otherwise, we will not represent where we come from. host: next phone call from st. charles, missouri. democrat line. caller: you seem like a nice man but i have a problem with your party. it seems you all are not interested in governing, only
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turninit over to the private sector. they want everything in private hand medicaid, medicare advantage. it costs them another 17% for them to administer the program. if the republicans were intested in lowering the deficit, they would eliminate tax cuts for the rich. over $700 blion, which we borrowed from china, is the cost of these tax cut thank you. guest: i suppose some people might say that democrats want to turn everything over to the government, republicans want to turn everything over to the private sector, and neither is
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it true, but there is a debate between the two where we draw that line. that is what the debate is about. no question, republicans believe, the private-sector, because of the accountability of it, because of competition, if you do not perform, you will go out of business. the private sector -- because of that incentive -- does things more effectively and efficiently than government. that said, because there are certain things where we are interested in public policy, we do not want it all about efficiency. so therefore, we have a govement aspect involved but they are out there to achieve some public purpose. so where do we draw that line?
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i believe we have gone too far toward the public sector and it is costing the effectiveness of government programs. they are not helping people like they should because they are not effective or efficient. i will come back to something that i keep on mentioning. $700 billion on the tax cuts, maintaining the current rates for people making over $250,000 a year, $700 billion is the estimate. actually, i do not think it will cost anywhere near that amount. the tax deal they put together earlier this week is estimated to cost $900 billion over two years, not 10. of that, less than 10% of it has anything to do with people
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making $250,000 a year. many of these are not tax cuts at all, they are direct payments from the government. host: joan from randolph, vermont asks in e-mail -- guest: 12, i am going to say there was job growth -- well, i am going to say there was job growth, up until 2007. a lot of thajob growth came after 2001 and 2003 when all the tax cuts went into place, in spite of 9/11 coming in, which was a great shock to the
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economy. from an economic sense, remember w bad the economy was in october, november, december of 2001 because of external influence? they did provide jobs. now what is happening is this uncertainty being created out there is costing jobs. businesses are afraid. there is a lot of cash out there, but they are afraid to invest it because they do not know what the regulations will be, whether they can get a return. those are the things we need to create certainty about. host: arlington, texas. tom, you are next. caller: this guy and every other republican says that the government does not create jobs.
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tell that to all the people that make the bombs, tanks, ships, everything else the government uses, the military uses. he is a liar, a bald faced liar. that is all there is to it. guest: wel ok, tom. when i say government does not create jobs, where does government create the money to create jobs? they have to tax the priva sector. that is where they get the money to pay for those things, unless we borrow it. unfortunately, that is what we're doing now. we are borrowing a $0.46 on every dollar that we are spending. i understand there is a lot we need to make for the military, but $0.46 of every dollar is being borrowed right now, and that is unsustainable.
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nobody disagrees with that. at some point, they are going to stop lending us money. you cannot tax the people at boeing enough to pay for boeing, if that makes sense. host: our last caller for you is from asheboro, nor carolina. ann. caller: good morning. you have hit on a lot of things. you touched on capital investment, credits, deductions for businesses. i would be surprised if a good accountant, if they do not get that net income as low as they -- and we allusiness pay taxes on our net income --
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the problem is the accountant works for the business. in other words, businesses try to punt everything back into their business as a capital investment or get a tax credit or deduction so they do not have to pay any net income tax, if at all possible. so the republicans and democrats both need to tell the truth to the taxpayers who pay on that income. the more your net income, the more taxes you should be required to pay. guest: was there a question there? host: it goes to your point about the share of taxation. let me put these two on, wch match with her theme.
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chris tweets. here is another e-mail -- so people are suggesting that rich people should pay more because they earn more. guest: but they are paying more as a share of what they are doing. tax rates have gone up and down all over time. the top tax rate has varied nce the tax rate went into creation. i think it was 6% over $1 million in 1936. it was defitely a tax on the rich when it was put in. i remember when tax rates were 70% in the 1960's, as low as 28% under president reagan.
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the rates have varied, but the deductions have as well. when they were up near 70%, again, i was a tax accountant, people could take action to reduce their income in various ways. we have an announcement of wealthy people giving money to charities. when they give it away, they will not be paying taxes for quite a long time. the idea that corporations pay no taxes is simply not true. we have the second highest tax rate in the industrialized world. host: that is all for our time. if you would not mind taking 20 seconds as we close -- preparations for the new congress. what can you tell the independents what will be
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different with congress? guest: we are going to run things differently. i do not agree on policy with many things that nancy pelosi is doing. most bills were done in the speaker's office, little was done in committee. ople are not able to give amendments. we are going to have a much more open process. hopefully, we will get a lot of bipartisan agreement from things coming out of committee. then when it goes to the house of representatives, this is the bill, both up or down, people will be able to offerhanges and then give a judgment on whether or not to vote up or down. there are a lot of tngs that have been bottled up because so many people are concerned about health care, various other
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things. there are things upon which the republic may rest, but are important segments of the economy. if you take a bunch of those and put them together in aggregate, they may create a noticeable move in the economy. that is what we are hoping to do. a lot of these are not partisan or ideological. they are simply trying to fix something that is wrong or on certain in a certain part of the economy, and we want to do this in an open process through committees, in a way that people can see, then bring them to the floor, some will pass, some will not. then i think they will
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>> the house is taking a break now so that democratic members can attend a party caucus meeting. some news has just come out of this meeting. cnn reports that house democrats have voted not to bring up the tax deal that the president negotiated with the g.o.p. in its current form. meanwhile, while we wait for the house to come back, we'll continue the discussion with a democratic perspective on the tentative compromise for extending the bush-era tax cuts and jobless benefits interest this morning's "washington journal," this is about 40 minutes. host: next this morning we have congressman keith ellison. he chairs the progressive caucus. we have been talking about the gop's tax compromise plan. how do you pn to vote? guest: at this point, i do not plan to support it. i think it will expand income
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and wealth gaps in our country that will not only put wealthy people in a position of increasing their wealt but also in a position to purchase political power, which i am influencel dbe used to the election, as saw in the campaigns. i am concerned citizens united is going to be on steroids next time around, and part of the ason is because this tax deal will stuff the pockets of those people who would want to use their wealth to purchase even more political power. host: what would you like to see? guest: absolutely, the ui needs to be done. host: could you explain that? guest: usually, noncontroversial
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matters will go on the calendar. in order for it to pass, you need two-thirds of a congressional vote. ordinarily, he would need just a simple majority, but if you want to pass it on suspension calendar, you need two-thirds. we did that get that because republican members did not support it. host: where do you think this will all play out, just hearing from the conserve republican -- a conservative republican? guest: if i were to say this is going to happen, that is going to happen, that assessment would be based on this moment, but time moves forward. if we had leadership, we might be able to get things the way it should be. i will tell you, there is no way thestate tax should be part of
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any agreement. it is an absurd and over to the ultra rich. i do not know if you are aware, but this estate tax deal would hand over $335 billion over 10 years to about 3500 estates in this country. this deal will benefit 3500 states. it is that looking out for the american people? -- 3500 estates? . the thing is, i do not know where it is goingo end up, but if we lift our voices, if we do that, we can perhaps alter ts agreement so that it is closer
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to what is realistic. host: we will put the phone numbers on the screen. you can send your questions or comments by e-mail, twitter, and phone. i want to show a clip from the president this week. we started the morning talking about presidential politics, showing a column that he has his eye on the 2012 vote. >> what doou say to democrats who say that you are rewarng republicans? a lot of progressive democrats say that they are unwilling to budge. you are asking them to get off the fence and budge. why should they be rewarding republican obstructionists? >> i have said before, i felt middle-class tax cuts were being held hostage to high income tax cuts. it is tempting not to negotiate
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with hostage-takers, unless a hostage gets harmed. then people will question the wisdom of that strategy. in that case, the hostage was the american people. i was not willing to see the get harmed. now, i could have enjoyed the battle with republicans over the next month or two, because as i said, the american people are on our side. this is not a situation where i have failed to persuade the american people of our rightness. we are not operating from a position of political weakness with respect to political opinion, but the problem is, republicans feel this is the single most important thing they have to fight for as a party. in light of that, it was going to be a protracted battle and
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they would have a stronger position next year than they do currently. host: keith ellis? guest: i am a supporter of the president. there are some progressive liberal democrats that have been tough on the president. i am tough on the republicans who demanded these kinds of concessions that would create this deal, which at this point, i do not agree with. i understand the president is in a tight spot. i understand that. there were some other things that we could have done which could have strengthened our position in a considerable way. turning up the energy on the american people, i guarantee, there is no democrat in congress that would be glad to be here
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over the holiday if it meant getting the ui extensions we want. i do appreciate the president is in a tough position. there are things about this bill that are good. i just think because we are having to pay is too high. not only that, it puts republicans in a strategic position, over the long term, to have a better chance to beat us. that is not something that i believe served working america. host: let's begin with a tweet from billbaby -- guest: i do not believee should have an aristocracy in america. we should have a meritocracy. i know there are some people who do not want any estate tax.
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they want to take all the wealth they accumulated and conferred upon their cldren so they can have a generational aristocracy. america is not based on any such notion. america is based on the idea that people will be entrepreneurial, will have on an annuity, will get out there and create. if you want to create an america where you have a tiny number of people inheriting generation after generation o wealth and a large number of people who are so economically desperate that they cannot do anything except take any job offered to them, then this is the way to do it. we should stand up against that. the estate tax suld be 55%, if not more. and it should be at a significantly lower threshold. host: alice from clayton, new
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jersey. democrat. good morning. i would like to know why the democrats waited until republicans got elected before they did anything? why did they not vote on the extension for unemployment before the election? why are they going against the man that we elected to lead the country? they are acting more like republicans than the republicans. guest: i understand your frustration. this is a frustrating moment. you have heard me say that i am cautioning democrats not to attack the president. i think the people who forced this unholy compromise are republicans, and the president did what he needed to do. the fact that i do not agree with it means that i have to abide by my conscience and my
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district, where i had been receiving an overwhelming number of calls against this thing. you asked, why did we not act earlier? we have been trying to get unemployment insurance passed for a long time but republicans in the senate blocked it. the reason why is there is a rule to gain cloture. you cannot have a simple majority vote. yo need 60 senators before you can end the debate. that means they can debate endlessly and hold things up. i also mentioned before, when we tried to pass unemployment insurance, in the house, we ran into roadblocks there, too. there has been no shortage of energy expended trying to get this passed. i promise you that. i go to the work force centers
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in my district as often as i can. people know me there. i asked them about the reality they are living as they are facing unemployment so that i can be in touch with the urgency that they are experiencing. thank you for the question. host: "the new york post" prince a poll this morning telling us that 66% support the income tax deal and extension of unemployment benefits. when you get into the details, there are partisan differences. guest: we have a difference of
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opinion in congress, don't we? host: and with the puic. guest: unemployment insurance is a very stimulative measure for congress to pursue. it takes money and index it into the economy and increases demand, which is necessary to improve the economy. if we do not have on employment extensions, we could lose 600,000 jobs fairly quickly. the umployed person has some money, they go to the grocery store, that means the research and keep their nephew on the job and he will be able to pay his rent or mortgage. then that dollar circulates and helps everyone out. if we do n have an employee of insurance, that person is going to lose their home and is going to hurt the economy.
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unemployment insurance is good for the economy. it is something that we should support. i have not even mention how vitally important it is to the individual family who needs groceries. then they will be going to the food shelters, if they can, and th creates a desperate crisis for the individual family. the unemployment insurance is very stimulative to the economy. people are looking hard for jobs. we know that for every open job, there e five people looking. there areot enough jobs, so we need to stimulate the economy and create more. host: next phone call from st. louis. pat is an independent. caller: i am tired of hearing
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this class warfare. if you live in new york, you could be a teacher or firemen and be classified as rich. every perso who is rich in this country has worked hard, got out with their blood, sweat, and tears, and made themselves succesul. when the government decides to take $0.39 out of every dollar that you work for and distribute it to people whoo not work, whether they can work or cannot work, is unfair. more than 49% of the people in the country pay no tax. ma of them get a rebate from the country, from people like me who work. i am in the upper income bracket, husband is a physician. i grantee, the only tax break we get is what we can save a way
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in our 401k. i put my kids through college, not borrowing from student loans. i am tired of being demonized. i give to charity. i pay my fair share in tax. i believe the majority of what the people in the country pay their fair share, and i am sick and tired of saying the rich do not get taxed enough. maybe those 49% of people who do not get taxed, maybe they should be responsible and start paying for something. the government has failed you if you are in the bottom percentage of the country. host: you have given us a lot to work with. guest: thank you. i appreciate your sentiment. i take issue with a few things you said. you said the rh got richer by working hard and not relying on the government. did the government supply the police officers to protect your
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home? did the government supply the firefighters and emergency medical service? what about the roads that you drive on every day to go to work? that is the government. we all rely on government and there is nothing wrong with it. what we can do together, we should. the military keeps us safe. that is the government. nasa is the government. this idea that there is something wrong with the government and rich people did it all themselves is not true. what about the gi bill? you say you did not take any tax breaks? what about the mortgage interest deduction? did you take that one?
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what aboutour two children? i am sure you are proud of them. did you take the child tax credit? you take your deductions. let us stop this idea that the government is the enemy. it is how we live together. of course, we should have private enterprise to allow private -- we should have initiatives to allow private enterprise to grow, but we've need to live in a civil society. i am sure we do not have polarizing views. it is a matter of the right balance. it is not a matter of class warfare, it is a matter of class fairness. this is a debate we will continue to have. host: this and you were asked the presidential powers question, assuming a deal is not successful legislatively --
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guest: i think potus needs ngress to act, in this situation. host: edberg in kentucky. you are on with keith ellison. -- edward in kentucky. caller: why did president obama agreed to take $120 billion out of social security next year? they want to lower the rate that people will pay. guest: i think that is a fair question. i have the same question. i know a lot of people think the payroll tax deduction, 2%, it is a great thing. it will make it easier to hire, allow people to have more money in their pockets, and that is good, but you raise an important
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question. it is taking money out of social security. they say it will be replaced from the general fund. so we should not see any short- term decrease in social security, but what we will see over time, the general fund borrows money from social security. social secity gets money from the general fund, general fund gives money to social security, where does it end? are we not setting ourselves up for an attack on social security where it cnot pay for itself, and then people are put into an argument to undermine social security? this worries me. not that i agree with the deal, but i am satisfied that the people who came up with the deal working at it.
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it is something i am concerned about. host: this viewer tweets -- would you have supported the compromise of taxation or $1 million? guest: i would have looked carefully at it. the me tell you this, susan. republicans say they want all the 2001, 2003 tax cuts extended permanently. democrats -- first of all, we agree that everyonwould get a tax extension up to $250,000. i thought that we would come somewhere in the middle so we could negotiate on the number of
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years of the extension, negotiate on the amount. what ended up happening is, a lot of other stuff got into the mix, including the estate tax, and i am not here to sign up for scmer's proposal at the moment, but it is better than this deal, but i do not know if i would have necessarily supported it. as a congressperson, i would have had the duty to dig into it, but off the cuff, probably. host: an e-mail from a viewer -- guest: the fact is, that is sort of the argument to say we have to take what is on the table. i do not agree with that. we could have, and should,
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continue to negotiate for the very best products for the american people. somebody says, after the republicans take over, it will be worse. you can always bludgeon someone into taking a bad deal based on that kind oargument. you have to buy this car now because it could be more pensive tomorrow. i do n buy that. you act like a leader, engage, bargain, old tough, you make sure that people are ready to walk away. in this situation, we did not signal that we would, in fact, walk away, and that we would make sure that we bargained hard. i guess, at the end of the day, we need to insist that
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unemployment insurance extensions go forward. i do not believe the republican caucus would allow people, on christmas eve, to be without. if they have that kind of gumption, i would like to see it on full display on c-span. host: massapequa, new york, this is dennis, a democrat. amoco -- caller: i started a c-span forum on facebook, c-spanliberal. at the second point, as a progressive and liberal, i have a plan to force the republicans to uncouple y tax cuts -- reducing fica and any richman stacks cut by boycotting thr companies, two from john boehner's estate, boycott
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wendy's restaurants, boycott j.m. smoker -- schmucker and the person who distributes jack daniel's. i tell you why. people can use their economic power and demand from their ceo's to get the republicans to uncouple the tax cuts and just passed thenemployment benefits. and we will destroy the power of the republican party with consumer boycott of companies to give money to conservatives. thank you. nice speaking to you. guest: innovative. for sure. and i think it is thinking outside the box. and i want to just encourage more people to come up with creative solutions to this problem. host: an e-mail from a viewer --
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guest: you know, again, i want to encourage democrats not to attack the president. the president was given some awful demands by the republican caucus, and i think argued in good faith, and so, i am not here to criticize the president and i just want to tell democrats, you know, you attack a democratic president to much you end up with a republican president. he did the payll tax provision because he thought it would put more money in the pockets of citizens and stimulate demand
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and job growth. and i think he extended the top 2% because that was the essentl demand of the republican caucus which, of course, will add about $700 billion to the deficit over 10 years which says to me that all of their tough talk about the deficit is really not sincere and that they don't mean it and that all of this talk about putting debt on our children and grandchildren is political posturing and not really what they are all about. what they are about is making sure the top 2% get money, and atop the state holders get a lot of money. host: politico features the vice president. as you know, he was in negotiations on this outcome for many days and you see the headline -- next telephoneur call. lexington, ky. a bill is a republican. guest: hello, bill.
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caller: good morning. he said earlier in the program you do not want to see aristoacy in the unid states. you, sir, are the aristocracy. you as a member of congress have a better medical planhan 90% of americans and after only two terms in congress you get full pay, which i think it's about $100,000 a year. you are in the aristocracy, you are the problem. you will not be here at the next election, sir. good day. guest: thank you, bill. exercising his first amendment rights to press himself and that is fine. i will say that i have blue cross/blue shield, just like so many americans but i don't have some sort of special medical plan. that is not true. and aristocracy -- i think -- face the vers every two years so how can i be a member of aristocracy if i have to face the voters every two years? and we have to run hard. democrats who have been in
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office for many years lost this year. aristocracy by dennis -- definition of people not subject to the voice of the people. they have money, wealth, power, that does not put them subject to the whims of what people would want. host: the congressman is with us for about 10 more minutes. thursday morning's our mornings where we get the unemployment numbers. here is the ap story -- applications for unemployment benefits are at the second lowest level of the year. evidence companies are cutting fewer jobs. the labor department said first- time claims for jobless aid fell by 17,000 to a seasonally adjusted 421,000 in a weekend ended december 1 -- december 4. wall street analysts expected a smaller decline. guest: it is good news. i am hoping we willontinue to add jobs. i continue if we had unemployment insurance passed, it would help. if we also continued to stimulate small business grow by improving access to capital,
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that would help. i would also like to see us pass a wpa-style jobs work program which i think would be very important given so many local governments had to slice their payrolls, resulting in fewer cops, firefighters, public works people. but i am happy about those numbers. host: while we are talking -- a tweet -- guest: we have been hearing about the fifth tier. clearly the 99ers are people past the point of receiving unemployment insurance benefits. i think it is essential that we make sure that given that unemployment is still hovering right bel 10% that we could look at the 99ers with not just compassion but with a savvy
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economic mind and understand that these people are going to cost and we need to put money in their hands -- again, so can inject demand. host: maryland. john is an independent. caller: thank you for taking my call. a pleasure to speak to use, sir. -- to you, sir. i have a question about things that have been worrying me. served 40 years in the army. am drawing, of course, a pension -- very modest, but barely grossed $19,000 a year. i am also disabled and i was put on social security disability last year. i am only 58. if they did not pass these tax cuts, how will that affect people like me. we are n considered seniors,
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jets, we are in that gray area. we don't make that much between our pension and social security, plus, we pay taxes on it, too. how would that affect people like me if it does not go through and we are stuck in the middle. guest: to tell you the truth, i would like to get more information from you to note exactly what programs you benefit from and to get a tighter look at your profile. he asked me this question so i will take my best stab at it without havg been able to do the homework that i think would be necessary. first of all, i don't think -- if these tax breaks don't go through i do not think it will affect you much at all. the reality is that these tax rates i think are not going to hit you. also, i don't believe you have a
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huge estate, so i do not think this will affect you in that situation, either. i would say there are things you will benefit from. you will benefit given that your neighbors who are unemployed will have some income. you will benefit because they will be able to pay their bills and they will be and in neighborhood that does not see more foreclosures and people being in more desperate situations and increasing poverty. but i thi that given what you told me, you live on pension and social security, i do not believe your situation will change a lot. but, of course, i do not know your whole situation so i am basically just taking a guess. host: we had two members of congress, one a republican and democrat who are not supporting the compromise. the thought it was important to get the voice of someone who is. janet tavakoli -- congressman
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henry cuellar from texas. guest: when we are trying to get the recovery back, remember december of 2008 we were losing 75000 jobs a month. we are trying to get out of this recession, and during ts type of recovery we need to try to do everything we could to survive -- provide stability and make sure people have money in their pockets and not only extend what we have but also the payroll tax holiday will be good. but i think extending everything at least for a couple of years will give us time to get out of this economic situation and hopefully revisit this at a later time. host: let me ask you, we have
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been talking a lot about this this morning of the c-span audience and maybe we can respond to some of the issues that percolated. fewer funds going into social security -- and the viability. guest: the money going into social security is dicated going into that. both under the democrats and republicans -- they have been boring money and we will pay you back with ious, and that is the question, are we taking it in one hand and put into the of the park and say aye will pay debt. thank you, henry, very much. that is what the government has been doing. ma essentially we have to address the issue of social security.
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the cost of the tax cuts i think is a little higher than the stimulus bill, so people sing you have to reduce the deficit but to not raise the taxes, there is a slight contradiction. i understand that but it is one i do accept. host: how would a program like decrease in payroll tax help spur js? guest: it is not only that but also the small business incentives that we set. i believe one would look at most of the jobs that are created by small businesses, so the tax incentives for the small businesses, i think it is completely important that we spur jobs. this is one thing for the folks saying we need stality, we
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need stability, because we do not know there is certainty, hopefully we -- and two years, there will not be excused for those people asking for certainty. they cannot say we did not know whether taxes are going up so we cannot hire. it takes that argument away. we are dng what you are saying, so now create the jobs. host: it is not by any of the stretch of the imagination perfect but for the economy right now. guest: no piece of legislation out of congress will be the perfect piece of legislation. and of the circumstances i think this is the best we can do. host: any sense of the nose counting?
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guest: i talked to some of my blue dogs, and are some folks that do support it. i guess we will find out. my thing at the end of the day, it will pass. host: congressman henry cuellar , democrat of texas, who will be supporting the plan. i am disappointed, no one willing to make predictions. in our last couple of minutes -- going back to the president. tweeting -- guest: im elected by a group of people who sent me from minnesota to represent in the congress. i am not an employee of president obama. president obama is a man i admire and i support him on almost everything but because he
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and i agree -- not that i think he kno more than do -- tha i have an independent basis of understanding. i have done my reading, but my fact checking, and i have come to a different conclusion about what the possibilities are. look, the president is not a king. he is the man who has to face the voters just like anybody. he has his own views on how he will solve problems but members of congress do, too. and i think it is important that we understand the invaluable a important balance of powers that our government has with in it. congress is a co-eql branch of government. congress is not less than the presidency. the presidency is equal to the congress, and vice versa. i guess that is my answer to the question. host: houston, texas. you have the last question.
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caller: i watch you on tv and i'd like your prentation and stuff. i love m pastor very much and there is a saying in the bible about a richman that gave servant the money to go out and invent -- invest. the american people is the rich man. they gave me banks the money to invest and they hit it in the ground. they gave the money to wall street and the mortgage companies and a winter and buried it. and bp not only buried their money in the ground, they have gone up on the price of their gas getting back of the american people. barack obama invested in the gm, he and president bush, and gm has posted -- tell them about the number gm posted. you have to invest money and make money and i would urge you, sir, invest in the american people. even though you do not like what is going on, invest in the american people, thank you.
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guest: let me thank the caller again. i am all for investing in the american people. i believe in the american people. but i also believe the american people are trusting meo try to advocate for the best deal for them. that is what i am doing. let me also just remind the emirate that general motors is now a viable -- remind the caller that general motors is now a viable company, a private business now pursuing its interest in the marketplace. and we will make money on the tarp. we bailed out the banks, we will get the money back. we have gotten a lot of it back. i am very grateful for being here today. i believe in mixed government -- private sector, for sure, but also a government role. they play off of each other to augment both and make sure we have a good life for the american people. so, thank you for having me and i look forward to coming back. host: look forward to having you back as we close here.
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pretty interesting politics at home. handicap for the audience? guest: democratic governor, both houses in minnesota were taken by republicans in the last election. comi up on redistricting. and we also have a huge deficit of about $5 billion to $6 billion. what i will tell fofolks is thai >> the house is in recess now so that democratic members can attend a party caucus meeting. some news coming out of that meeting, cnn and others are reporting that house democrats have voted not to bring up the tax deal that the president recently negotiated with republicans unless there are changes. and we have just gotten some reaction to that news outside of the white house from the
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commerce secretary and members of the president's export council. this is under five minutes. >> now that the house is not going to take up the tax deal in its current form, i'd like your reaction. >> i haven't heard that and obviously i think some of the reports indicate that as more members hear of the provisions that the president was successful in getting into this agreement, beyond just extending the so-called bush era tax cuts, that more members are supportive. they realize that this will actually help american companies grow and expand and hire more people. 6 course -- of course the reduction -- the two percentage point reduction in the payroll tax actually means substantially more money in the pockets of
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americans above and beyond the continuation of the tax cuts. this is -- if you look at the analysis by income bracket, or income levels, it's substantially a lot more money that middle americans, working class americans will have in their pockets. >> if they didn't take it up, would that be a setback? >> absolutely. i think that this tax proposal will help continue the recovery. i think it's vital that -- to continue the recovery. as we look at our capital expenditures, we will invest an awful lot more money with this proposal. i also think for retail sales to continue, i think this payroll tax rebate is something that's going to be very helpful for the consumer next year. i think this would be a major setback if we don't take it up and approve that. >> i have to second that wholeheartedly. even the temporary extension of
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the r and t tax credit and the payroll exemption are just examples, required progress that we need to actually solidify the economy and grow jobs. give us a little bit of certainty about how the near term will look. i think this is required and would be disappointing if it didn't pass. >> all the various economists from around the country are now in pretty strong consensus that this agreement with all the many measures in it from the expensing provisions to the reduction in payroll taxes to the continuation of some of the tax considered as read its for working families -- tax credits for working families, will actually create millions of new jobs in the next year, year and a half. and that's very important at such a critical priority for the american people. >> as you just heard, house pems
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democrats have voted not to consider the tax cut deal that the president recently negotiated unless changes were made. however in the senate members may begin debate on the tax cut deal today. the house is still in a break so that democratic members can attend a party caucus meeting. they have been talking about a one-year doc fix which would provide over $19 billion to offset a scheduled 25% cut of payments to doctors treating medicare patients. when members return, they'll vote on it, but in the meantime here's some debate from earlier today on that bill. it's about 25 minutes. gentleman from california, mr. stark. mr. stark: mr. speaker, i rise in support of h.r. 4994, the medicare and medicaid extenders act, a bill that was passed by unanimous consent in the senate yesterday because of the critical importance to our senior citizens and military families.
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the legislation does the bare minimum of what is needed to ensure that medicare runs smoothly for the next year. because the military's tricare system operates by many of medicare's rules, it also protects the health care of our military families. importantly, the bill prevents a nearly 25% pay cut to medicare and tricare physicians that would otherwise go into effect on january 1, 2011. giving physicians a year of certainty in their pay is important to protect medicare beneficiaries' access to their physicians. the bill extends a host of other key policies to protect the health of seniors and people with disabilities. . in the lodge run we all know we need to do much better by medicare than continued one-year patches on the physician payment formula. the house passed a permanent solution in november of 2009, but the senate was unable to move it. we need to work together across party lines to reach a permanent
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solution. in the meantime, 4994, is the appropriate short-term measure. i urge my colleagues to join us in protecting the medicare beneficiaries by voting yes. i reserve the balance of my time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman reserves the balance of his time. the gentleman from california, mr. herger. mr. herger: mr. speaker, i yield myself such time as i may consume. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman is recognized. mr. herger: when the democrats passed their massive health care overhaul, they didn't spend one sent to resolve a long-standing problem and ensure seniors have continued access to their physicians. as a result, for the fourth time since obamacare passed, we are forced to take emergency action to prevent physicians from having their medicare payments slashed. this time the looming cut is 25% . the brinksmanship where this
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democrat congress has walked physicians up to the cliff only to back away at the last minute is unacceptable. by friends on the other side of the aisle are quick to remind us that they offered to address medicare physician payments last fall. this is true. they put a bill on the floor which had already failed to pass the senate. this bill would have expanded our already record deficit by an astounding $210 billion, a cripple be -- crippling debt load on top of the $1 trillion health bill. rather than responsibly manage the medicare program, they chose instead to cut medicare by one half trillion dollars to fund their government takeover of health care. the good news is is that today we are finally starting to address this problem in a bipartisan way.
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we are stopping these cuts not for one month or two months, but for a full year. we are ensuring that physicians will take -- will be able to keep their doors open and that seniors will have continued access to their doctors. and we are doing this in a fiscally responsible manner without adding a dime to the deficit. we are doing it by taking aim at the irresponsible overspending that was created by the new health care law. let it be known on this day in the people's house the dismantling of obamacare begins. once the house passes this bill and the president signs it into law, we will have landed the first blow to the democrats' massive health care overhaul. today we begin by removing $19 billion from their risky $1
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trillion experiment. a risky experiment that c.b.o. predicts will force health insurance premiums for millions of families to increase by $2,100 in 2016 alone. a risky experiment that the obama administration predicts could force 117 million americans out of their health plans. a risky experiment that medicare officials have repeatedly warned could jeopardize seniors' access to care. a risky experiment that medicare officials predict will force millions of seniors out of their current medicare and retiree health coverage. a risky experiment that increases taxes by more than one half trillion dollars at a time when unemployment is nearly 10%.
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a risky experiment that would spend an additional $1 trillion on health care when every respected economist tells us that in order to improve our country's fiscal health, we must get control of health care spending. my friends on the other side of the aisle repeatedly said, a doctor's fix couldn't be paid for. that it shouldn't be paid for. yet with bipartisan work we have before us a fully offset bill that gives physicians one year of certainty while congress worked to reform physician payments in a fiscally responsible manner once and for all. so here we are today, mr. speaker, pulling at the thread that will begin to unravel obamacare. rest assured, america, we are
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taking $19 billion today but we'll continue to fight to get the rest next year. thank you, mr. speaker. i reserve the balance of my time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman reserves the balance of his time. the gentleman from california, mr. stark. mr. stark: mr. speaker, i ask unanimous consent that all members may have five legislative days to revise and extend their remarks on this matter. the speaker pro tempore: without objection, so ordered. mr. stark: i'd like to remind my distinguished friend that health reform was 100% paid for and the party that wants to spend $700 billion on the richest americans for their tax cuts certainly shouldn't lecture anyone on the deficit. mr. speaker, i yield the balance of my time to the gentleman from new jersey, mr. pallone.
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the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from new jersey is recognized. mr. pallone: thank you, mr. speaker. first of all let me say as i did the other day, as you know i guess about a week ago we passed an extension to eliminate the cut in the s.g.r. for -- the doctors fix, until the end of this month. this bill before us today would take us until the end of the year, december, 2011. at the time the gentleman from california, mr. herger, also got on the floor and made statements which i think totally do not represent what we were doing. first of all, i would say with regard to the doctors fix, nobody wants the 25% cut in doctors reimbursement rate. that's why we were here last week for the extension to eliminate that cut until the end of this year, and that's why we are here today to eliminate that cut until the end of 2011. the fact of the matter is it's the republican party and it's
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the gentleman from california, mr. herger's party, in the house that refused to vote for a permanent fix when we passed it in the democrat majority over a year ago. as i said that day, only one person, dr. burgess, who is a physician on our committee, voted with the democrats for the permanent fix. and as a result of the inability and unwillingness of the republicans to do anything about this doctors cut or reimburse the cut, that we had to pass, i guess, five different short-term fixes. now, granted today we are going to have a year extension and i'm certainly happy the republicans have agreed to a year extension. but they still have not come along to a permanent fix and they have not helped us in our efforts to achieve a permanent fix. so for the gentleman to suggest that somehow the republicans have been helpful and they wanted to deal with this problem, in my opinion, is simply not accurate. let me spell another thing. there is nothing in this bill that would any way disrupt or repeal the health care reform,
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the land mark legislation that the democrats passed again this year without any support from the other side of the aisle. if any of us were -- if there was any remote suggestion that we were repealing the -- or this was the beginning of the repeal, as the gentleman suggested, of the health care reform, not one democrat would support that. and i certainly would not. the fact of the matter is the health care lee form was fully paid for -- the health care reform was fully paid for. the fact of the matter is it did not in any way effect medicare beneficiaries. we actually improved benefits for medicare beneficiaries in the health care reform. we basically filled up an eliminated the doughnut hole. we provided more money for co-pays so that seniors who are poor, or lower income, would not have to do co-pays for preventive care. the list of additional benefits for medicare beneficiaries under the larger health care reform goes on and on. i could list more. so the suggestion that somehow we were cutting medicare
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benefits is simply not true. the fact of the matter is that benefits were increased, the bill was paid for, and this bill today in no way, in no way takes away from that large health care reform. we have paid for the health care reform, we have paid for the doctors fix for an additional year in this legislation by making sure that people who were going to get a subsidy and who didn't qualify would have to pay it back. that's the only change. that's the way it's paid for here today. so i just want to say, mr. chairman, this is a very important bill. it's a vital piece of legislation for america's seniors, persons with disabilities, and military families. without this legislation, physician fees in medicare and try care would be reduced by 25% on january 1, three weeks from now, and that kind of cut would threaten the ability of enrollees in medicare and try care to receive their -- tricare to see their doctors and we can't allow that to happen. as i mentioned before we passed
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some short-term fixes. this is another short-term fix that thankfully it is at least for another year. until we can work out a permanent solution. the democrats already passed that permanent solution without republican help. but unfortunately therefore it did not become law and will have to address it again. the bill also prohelp in 2011 to lower care medicare beneficiaries and paying premiums which are nearly $100 a month. it extends medicare policies including extensions process for therapy cap that allows medicare beneficiaries to access medically needed therapy treatment. it extends an important program that helps medicaid beneficiaries work more hours without losing their medicaid benefits. it's completely paid for over 10 years. it moved through the senate by unanimous consent. it's really not controversial at all. and so i urge members of the house to vote yes on this bill that provides stability to the medicare program. i reserve the balance of my time.
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the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman reserves the balance of his time. the gentleman from california, mr. herger. mr. herger: mr. speaker, i yield the balance of my time to the ranking member of the energy and commerce committee, the gentleman from texas, mr. barton. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from texas is recognized for as much time as he may consume. mr. barton: i thank the gentleman from california for his courtesy. i would ask the chair how much time i have remaining? the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman has 15 minutes remaining. mr. barton: may i ask how much time my friends on the majority have? the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from california, mr. stark, has 13 minutes remaining. the speaker pro tempore: thank you, mr. speaker. -- mr. barton: thank you, mr. speaker. i yield myself such time as i may consume. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman is recognized. mr. barton: the republicans do rise in support of this one-year fix for the reimbursement rate for physicians. having said that, i think i was able to listen to some of what
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my distinguished subcommittee chairman of the energy and commerce committee, mr. pallone, was saying as i was waiting for the tram to come over here, it is time, mr. speaker, for members on both sides of the aisle to put aside partisan politics and in an upcoming year or years, if it takes more than one year, sit down and let's really come up with a new formula to fix permanently how we pay our physicians. the current formula is based on an index that is based on inflation. and under the scorekeeping any year in which medical expenses go up more rapidly than the general inflation rate, i'm simply filing the index, but this is the basic part of it, you have to find savings in that particular year or there is a
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negative balance created in the physician reimbursement fund. the current system is not sustainable. it doesn't work. it doesn't reflect the practice of medicine. but because of our scorekeeping, we are -- we keep getting further and further behind and so each year the one-year cut gets bigger and bigger. this year it would be 25%. now, obviously when most of our physician community claims, and i think with justification, that they are not being adequately reimbursed for treating medicare patients, you have a situation as you have in my district and i'm sure each of us can say in our own district -- in their districts, physicians are not taking medicare patients. in my home county of ellis county, the county seat,
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community of about 30,000, the mayor is a personal friend of mine and i have known him for over 20 years, his existing doctor retired and he went, he's on medicare, he's over 65, we went to find a new doctor who would treat him and he couldn't find a doctor. here's the mayor of watcha hatchee, who couldn't find a doctor to accept a medicare patient. that doesn't make sense. you could find the best system in the world and if you don't have the doctors to implement it you don't have a health care system. so, it is my strong recommendation that the republicans, the current minority, soon-to-be majority, vote for this one-year fix. knowing it's not a fix it's another kick the can, kick the problem down the road, but in
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this case at least it is for a year. . and in the upcoming congress and in the majority switch i am going to be a member of the committee of primary jurisdiction, the energy and commerce committee, and it will be my strong recommendation to our new chairman, fred upton of michigan, and our new speaker, mr. boehner of ohio, and our new majority leader, mr. cantor of virginia, that we sit down with our stakeholders, with our friends on the soon-to-be minority side of the aisle and let's come up with a system that adequately reflects the will of both parties and also gets buy-in from the stakeholders and reflects the cost of practicing medicine as it is today. i know it's going to be expensive. i know it's going to be difficult. but it will be possible, and i hope we can do that.
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so with that i would reserve the balance of my time, would ask for a yes vote when it comes time to vote under the suspension calendar. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman reserves the balance of his time. who seeks recognition? without objection, the gentleman from new jersey will control the time. the gentleman is recognized. mr. pallone: thank you, mr. speaker. i yield two minutes to the gentleman from california, mr. farr. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from california, mr. farr, is recognized for two minutes. mr. farr: thank you very much, mr. speaker. and thank you very much for yielding. i ask for permission to revise and extend. the speaker pro tempore: without objection. mr. farr: mr. chairman, i rise in support of this bill, but with real dismay. first, it is ludicrous that congress continues to patch s.g.r. instead of fixing it once and for all. this bill, though necessary, doesn't fix what's broken. we will just find ourselves back next year trying to find a
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way forward. the time to repeal and replace the doctor payment formula and come up with something new. second, this bill contains special pork favors for certain midwest senators that will pay their doctors more than the doctors in other parts of the country. in particular, my state of california. section 103 of this bill provides an arbitrary floor for certain doctor patients in iowa and other midwest states that boost their medicare reimbursements. but this provision does not extend to all doctors in the united states. iowa will get $17 million additional in f.y. 2011 on top of the regular medicare reimbursement that other states will not get. over the two-year cycle, f.y. 2011, iowa doctors will be reimbursed over $34 million because of their special floor in the payments inserted by senator grassley and others in that body. in a bill that is supposed to be clean and simple -- and
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simply advance the moratorium on reductions in sustainable growth rate, section 103 is an abomination. it is plain unfair to other doctors in other states. my doctors in california, especially in my district, have suffered more than a decade under the misaligned doctor payment formula to outdate geographical -- due to outdated geographical locality designations. despite numerous reports by g.a.o. and c.m.s., despite numerous times the house passed legislation to pass this, the senate has refused to accept the fix. they need to do right by all doctors. this bill does not do that. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman's time has expired. without objection, the gentleman from texas will control the time. mr. barton: i would yield three minutes to a distinguished member of the energy and
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commerce committee and the health subcommittee, current ranking member of the oversight and investigation subcommittee, dr. michael burgess of flower mound, texas. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from texas, dr. burgess, is recognized for three minutes. burgburg i thank the gentleman, my ranking minority member -- mr. burgess: i thank the gentleman, my ranking member, for yielding. this truly is an emergency for our nation's patients and our nation's physicianings. i support the passage of this bill. it does give us, also, some time in this body and the other body, it gives us some time to work on a permanent solution. there's plenty of blame to go around on both sides of the aisle and both sides of the capitol as to why we are in this fix. the fact is it began back in 1998 with an omnibus reconciliation act. it was extended under the republican watch for 10 years and now we have four years under the democrats where it has not been fixed.
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in fact, most of the doctors you talk to have come through the worse year ever in trying to manage their practices. stop and think about it for a minute. you have a small medical practice, two, three, four, five doctors. they don't do all medicare work. maybe it's only 5% or 10% of their actual book of business. but in april and in june we asked the administrator at the center for medicare and medicaid services to hold the check for a few weeks until congress could get back off a recess and take up yet another fix for this problem. the practical effect of doing that was we cut 10%, 15% off of the operating budget for every small practice that did medicare, saw medicare patients that we asked them to see, that saw our medicare patients in this country. the consequence of that, most physician offices run very close to the margin every month. they had to impout and borrow money to meet cash flow in april and in june. and i dare say most of those
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practices have not yet fully recovered from that insult to the cash flow that occurred. so it is extremely important to pass a one-year -- a one-year extension that gives them the stability to plan, gives patients the ability to be able to find doctors under the medicare system and gives physician offices the ability to plan for the future. now, during this year that comes up, we are obligated, both sides of the aisle, both houses in this capitol are obligated to fix this problem. shame on us if it continues after this fix has expired. there is the political will to do it. we heard it this morning from both sides. i will commit myself to working with, yes, my side, the other side of the aisle, the other house in this capitol to work on a permanent solution to this. they are out there. it depends on how we want it to look. it depends on where we're going to get the pay-fors. one the most egregious things in this health care bill that the president signed last march was even though you took $500 billion out of the medicare
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system you used that to offfund a new entitlement for the middle class in subsidies and the exchange. not one dime, not one dime was sequestered to pay down the problem that we have with the sustainable growth rate formula. and here's the real bad news. the independent payment advisory board is coming up in 2015. also part of the health care bill that was signed into law last march. doctors now perhaps face double jeopardy from the cuts in the sustainable growth rate formula and the cuts in the payment advisory board. this stretches out for 12 months. we have time to do it let's dedicate ourselves for getting this done for our nation's seniors. thank you. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman's time has expired. the gentleman from new jersey. mr. pallone: i'd continue to reserve. i don't know if there are speakers on the other side. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman reserves the balance of his time. the gentleman from texas. mr. barton: mr. speaker, we don't have any other speakers. we're prepared to close if the majority's prepared to close. mr. pallone: that's fine. the speaker pro tempore: the
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gentleman from texas is recognized. mr. barton: mr. speaker, i think all that's been said that needs to be said has been said. so let me simply say that this is a problem that needs to be dealt with. i compliment those who negotiated the one-year sficks. hopefully in the next -- fix. hopefully in the congress we can replace the existing formula for one that doesn't have to be updated and fixed every session of congress. but for today i'd urge all those in the current minority to vote for the bill on suspension and would yield back the balance of our time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from texas yields back the balance of his time. the gentleman from new jersey. mr. pallone: thank you, mr. speaker. let me associate myself completely with the remarks that the gentleman from texas just made. i do think that it's significant that we're able to negotiate a one-year extension
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to avoid these cuts to the doctors on a bipartisan basis. and i do believe we need to work together on a bipartisan basis to achieve a permanent >> the house will be coming back momentarily. and when they do they'll vote on that doc fix bill for medicare that you just saw debated. in the meantime, there's been a statement released from house speaker nancy pelosi's office on that democratic caucus vote rejecting the tax cut proposal in its current form. she says this, quote, house democrats share the president's commitment to providing the middle class with a tax cut to grow the economy and create jobs. the house passed a bill last week to provide tax cuts for all americans but not a bonus tax cut to millionaires and billionaires. the extra tax cut for the top 3% does not create jobs and increases the deficit. unfortunately, senate republicans blocked the bill from being approved by the
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senate. speaker pelosi continues, in the caucus today house democrats supported a resolution to reject the senate republican tax provisions as currently written. we will continue discussions with the president. looks like the house has just gaveled back in. so we'll continue with our live coverage here on c-span. pro2eckses and for
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other purposes. the speaker pro tempore: the question is will the house suspend the rules and concur in the senate amendment. members will record oiler votes by electronic device. 15-minute vote. 7 [captioning made possible by the national captioning institute, inc., in cooperation with the united states house of representatives. any use of the closed-captioned coverage of the house proceedings for political or commercial purposes is expressly prohibited by the u.s. house of representatives.]
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